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Nationwide bandh evokes partial response in Tripura

By Correspondent

AGARTALA, Jan 8 - The nationwide general strike called by 10 central trade unions today to protest against the Centre�s �anti-labour policies� evoked a partial response in Tripura.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and his ministerial colleagues attended office, but there were fewer visitors as people mostly stayed indoors and the public transport system came to a halt during the bandh in the BJP-ruled State. Private buses and other small passenger vehicles remained off the roads.

There was, however, no disruption in air and train services.

In the capital town, most shops and shopping malls remained were closed. The few markets that remained opened wore a deserted look due to want of customers.

In the morning, BJP supporters took out bike rallies and appealed to the people to defy the bandh call, but no CPI(M) activist was seen on the streets trying to enforce the strike here.

Barring minor skirmishes between the pro- and anti-strike groups at Kailasahar, Khowai and Ambassa, no other untoward incident was reported in the State.

A large number of security personnel were deployed at these three places to defuse tension, said a senior police officer here.

PTI reports from Agartala and Kohima add: The CITU�s Tripura unit secretary Shankar Prasad Datta said people supported the bandh spontaneously and the union was not picketing to enforce the strike anywhere.

�We organised a campaign throughout the State in the last few days in support of the bandh and people responded to our call,� he told reporters.

Several BJP-backed organisations were, however, out on the streets against the strike. The strike has been called by trade unions INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC, along with various sectoral independent federations and associations.

Banks and offices of financial institutions remained shut at most places in the State. Railway officials said all local and long-distance trains operated as usual and there was no picketing either at stations or on tracks.

Postal services were affected in Nagaland due to the strike, even as it did not have any impact on normal life with vehicles plying and markets remaining open.

Under the banner of All India Postal Employees Union (AIPEU), the staff demonstrated outside post offices across the State, including the head post office in the State capital, demanding scrapping of the new pension scheme and raising a host of other issues.

Kevilekho Angami, the postmaster at the head post office, maintained that the demands of the union are genuine.

Led by assistant divisional secretary L Imtikumjuk, the postal staff demanded that the Centre should stop privatisation of government departments and public sector undertakings. They also demanded withdrawal of �anti-worker� labour codes and labour reforms.

Meanwhile, commercial establishments, including markets, shops, and other government offices operated as usual.

The banking sector also did not have much impact, but employees of the Central Bank of India at its Kohima and Dimapur branches joined the strike.

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Nationwide bandh evokes partial response in Tripura

AGARTALA, Jan 8 - The nationwide general strike called by 10 central trade unions today to protest against the Centre�s �anti-labour policies� evoked a partial response in Tripura.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and his ministerial colleagues attended office, but there were fewer visitors as people mostly stayed indoors and the public transport system came to a halt during the bandh in the BJP-ruled State. Private buses and other small passenger vehicles remained off the roads.

There was, however, no disruption in air and train services.

In the capital town, most shops and shopping malls remained were closed. The few markets that remained opened wore a deserted look due to want of customers.

In the morning, BJP supporters took out bike rallies and appealed to the people to defy the bandh call, but no CPI(M) activist was seen on the streets trying to enforce the strike here.

Barring minor skirmishes between the pro- and anti-strike groups at Kailasahar, Khowai and Ambassa, no other untoward incident was reported in the State.

A large number of security personnel were deployed at these three places to defuse tension, said a senior police officer here.

PTI reports from Agartala and Kohima add: The CITU�s Tripura unit secretary Shankar Prasad Datta said people supported the bandh spontaneously and the union was not picketing to enforce the strike anywhere.

�We organised a campaign throughout the State in the last few days in support of the bandh and people responded to our call,� he told reporters.

Several BJP-backed organisations were, however, out on the streets against the strike. The strike has been called by trade unions INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC, along with various sectoral independent federations and associations.

Banks and offices of financial institutions remained shut at most places in the State. Railway officials said all local and long-distance trains operated as usual and there was no picketing either at stations or on tracks.

Postal services were affected in Nagaland due to the strike, even as it did not have any impact on normal life with vehicles plying and markets remaining open.

Under the banner of All India Postal Employees Union (AIPEU), the staff demonstrated outside post offices across the State, including the head post office in the State capital, demanding scrapping of the new pension scheme and raising a host of other issues.

Kevilekho Angami, the postmaster at the head post office, maintained that the demands of the union are genuine.

Led by assistant divisional secretary L Imtikumjuk, the postal staff demanded that the Centre should stop privatisation of government departments and public sector undertakings. They also demanded withdrawal of �anti-worker� labour codes and labour reforms.

Meanwhile, commercial establishments, including markets, shops, and other government offices operated as usual.

The banking sector also did not have much impact, but employees of the Central Bank of India at its Kohima and Dimapur branches joined the strike.

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